Nearly three months after an open letter penned by a nine-year-old from Kodagu district seeking help to find her deceased mother’s phone went viral, the Karnataka police Thursday handed over the phone to her, as smiles lit up the office of the jurisdictional Superintendent of Police (SP).
Hrithiksha’s plea seeking help to recover the phone of her mother — T K Prabha (36) who succumbed to Covid-19 on May 16 at the Madikeri Covid hospital — had caught the attention of many online as the police began efforts to trace the phone.
“My father is a daily wage worker and we were able to survive these days with the help of neighbours. My mother passed away on May 16. Someone has taken my mother’s mobile phone which was with her. I have lost my mother and become an orphan. I have several memories of my mother on that phone. I request, whoever has taken the phone or finds it, to return it…,” she mentioned in a letter addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu, the MLA, and the staff of the district Covid-19 hospital.
Kodagu SP Kshama Mishra told The Indian Express that the phone was finally recovered from the hospital godown after the area was cleared for cleaning purposes recently. “We then sent the phone for verification using technical assistance after which Hrithiksha’s father was called to confirm if it was his deceased wife’s phone,” she explained.
She added, “The best part of the find was that all memories — in the form of photos, videos, and audio clips — that Hrithiksha had with her late mother was intact when she checked the phone. This made her family as well as our officials equally happy.”
Further, a senior officer, who was part of the investigating team, revealed that the phone was reported to be found at the godown area. “The Medical Superintendent had then approached the jurisdictional police station to hand over the phone. Once sent for verification, we found that the IMEI number of the missing phone (as mentioned in the complaint) was matching with the recovered device,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, Hrithiksha’s father Naveenkumar T R expressed delight over the phone being found. “After sleepless nights crying over it, my daughter is finally happy to receive her mother’s phone at last,” he said. Naveekumar had filed a complaint at the Kushalnagar police station stating that the missing phone was a Samsung Galaxy J 2 Core device.